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Posted on Apr 26, 2007 in Front Page Features, Tactics101

Tactics 101: 015 – The Basics of the Offense

By Rick Baillergeon and John Sutherland

WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL MANEUVER FORMATIONS UTILIZIED IN THE OFFENSE?

Although maneuver formations are generally thought to be used only at the lower levels, they are just as important at higher levels as well.  Below are the most common maneuver formations utilized.  Good units will be well-trained in all formations, since each formation has particular strengths according to the situation.   

Column

  • When – Contact not likely, your objective is far away, speed and control essential
  • Strengths – Moves forces quickly, is good in restricted terrain, and makes initial contact with a small portion of your force.
  • Weaknesses – Minimal firepower at the front of the formation and can be a lucrative target for enemy air.

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Line

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  • When – Firepower is needed at the front to assault an objective.
  • Strengths – Assists in building momentum when initiating your assault and creates a wide frontage of firepower.
  • Weaknesses – Less flexibility than other formations, has minimal flank coverage, and is difficult to control in restricted terrain and limited visibility.

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Echelon (left or right)

  • When – Good intelligence is available about the enemy, you are the flank unit of a larger formation.
  • Strengths – Good control in open terrain and excellent firepower/security on the flank that is echeloned.
  • Weaknesses – Difficult control in restricted terrain and lack of flank firepower/security on the flank that is not echeloned.

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